Interview with the Vampire
Neil Jordan's Interview with the Vampire, based on the popular Anne Rice novel of the same name, brings to life the gothic New Orleans atmosphere that the book created so effortlessly. Although Louis (Brad Pitt) hates his life and desires to end it (even going so far as to pick fights for the express purpose of trying to get himself killed), he gets more than he bargained from after he is converted into a nosferatu by the vampire Lestat (an excellent if controversial performance by Tom Cruise). Louis, reflecting on his post-conversion "life" to skeptical journalist Christian Slater (hence the film's title), reveals his story via dramatic flashbacks, which serve to make him a "real" and, even more surprising, sympathetic character. Interview is a terrific-looking film, stylistically directed by Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, The End of the Affair) with great aesthetic flair; every shot reveals a keen eye for color and location. And although vampire films are almost a genre unto themselves, Jordan here has not been content to tailor the story to a particular sect; the film is mainstream enough that it can be enthusiastically enjoyed by anyone, regardless of their interest in the subject of vampires, simply because the film is about complex characters rather than cheesy special effects or goofy-looking fangs. Kirsten Dunst steals the show (in her first major role) as the pint-sized nosferatu who gives joy and meaning to Louis's new life. Interview with the Vampire is presented in an attractive widescreen transfer (which appears to be 1.85:1), with audio in Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1. Special features include a commentary track from director Jordan, a making-of featurette, and interviews with Jordan, screenwriter Anne Rice, and actor Antonio Banderas.